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Trumpet Discussion Discuss How High Is High Enough? in the General forums; Please don't respond with "as high as possible". I have been working on my range and prior to about a ...
  1. #1
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    How High Is High Enough?

    Please don't respond with "as high as possible". I have been working on my range and prior to about a month ago I only played up to high C. Now that I'm working at it, I am able to play an F in a tune. I have also played the G above that in a tune. I want to "own" every note I can play. I know this takes time and practice. My question is.....when should I stop climbing higher? It's not that I don't want to keep playing higher and higher. It's just that I'm wondering when should I look in the mirror and say "now I have the range to play the lead book in a big band".

    Let it be known that the two guys that play lead in the section(Gary and Jarrett) are where I've gathered my knowledge on the subject. If it were not for them, I would not be having this dilema :wink: because I would not be developing my range without their advice and guidance. Thanks guys and come home safe.
    Mike
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  3. #3
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    I know you didn't want this answer but I think the answer is indeed "as high as possible". If you're asking what's necessary then that's a different question.

    I think the average amateur should strive for a strong C and D. Most professional players have a fairly useable high F and G but keep in mind that their C's, D's, and E's are perfect, everytime, after a 5 hour gig. Lead players are not generally asked to play any higher than a double G but it has to be as big as a house and I suspect that even if G is the top of their useable range they are able to play with some consistency up to double C's, D's, and higher. True high note specialists are often able to go to triple C if not higher.

    My question to you is why ever stop trying to get higher? Depending on what your needs are you might stop worrying at a certain point but I think it's wise to always try to expand your range(as well as expanding dynamics, articulations, etc). The higher you can play the easier your lower range will be and the more consistent it will be. Remember years ago when you were struggling to play G's on top of the staff after a one hour rehearsal? I know I do. I bet you haven't missed one of those in a while, even after many hours of playing.

    Sorry for all the rambling, here's the short version... when will you be able to play the lead book? Well, range wise, I would say you need a double G from mf to fff that lasts several hours. I expect when you have that range and power you'll be squealing at least up to a C.

  4. #4
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    Generally, I agree with the G for most every player; however, if that "limits" your solo ideas, then it's not high enough. If you ideas are closer to Chet Baker (we should all have such good taste) then a high-C will do.

    Most community band players can cover everything they'll see with an E over high C. Big band lead players "need" a G and a little more wouldn't hurt.

    Dave
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  5. #5
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    How High Is High Enough?

    I totally disagree with the first couple of posts! Unless you're in a band doing Maynard or Kenton stuff you can become a VERY well respected lead player with a good solid, consistant "F" and probably cover 95% 0f the lead books in any band you may be asked to play with in your carrer... even Buddy's band! I'm talking about USEABLE "GIG" NOTES...not "G-A's" that you hit in the practice room! In fact, on most of your "local" big band gigs, whether playing for a dance or outside concert, the lead player can cut the book with a good "Eb". Alot of people confuse lead players with highnote players. THERE IS A BIG...I repeat...BIG DIFFERENCE! Over the past 30 years 95% of my work has been lead playing. In fact only recently have I decided to branch out into some other types of playing that I also enjoy. A number of bands that I have worked with always have had a player, or two, that can scream (for lack of a better term!) a double "B-C" over top of the band...but...hand them a lead chart to play and they completely fold! Yes...lead playing has become more demanding over the years and, yes, it's real nice to own a couple of additional "gig-highnotes"...but...again...not absolutely necessary. FWIW...my 2 cents!
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  6. #6
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    Hmm, chetbaker doesn't play out of the same books I do.

    Anyway, if you've got an F, you've probably got a G. I find them the same. It's the break at Ab/A that separates the men from the boys, IMHO. (Yeah, I'm still a "boy" in that regards).

    High school wind ensemble requires Eb and E at the higher levels of achievement.

    Gotta go work on that Ab...

    Dave
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    '03 Concept TT w/ GR66.8B2.8
    '94 Lawler TL cornet w/ Sparx 2B
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    How High Is High Enough?

    "Hmm, chetbaker doesn't play out of the same books I do"......

    Dave...are you referring to "practice room " books or actual "lead" books you've played from a big band? In my statement I qualified what I said saying "95% of the big band books"......Sure...there are bands out there that have your "G-A's" written for the lead player...and I've worked with a few. BUT...IMHO that's the exception to the rule NOT the norm. Maybe in Texas you guys walk in to a different situation when playing with a big band and us east coast guys just have it real easy?!?

    Butch
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  8. #8
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    Butch, they're commercial rock/soul/funk charts. F# and G are pretty darn common in that genre, which we take off the records. Still, wouldn't you agree, if you've got an F, you've got a G? Maybe that's just me, but once I got past E it was all the same up to the Ab "wall". I can "hit" above A, but not play above A.

    I don't play the lead book at DCJB, but that book has a good number of Gs. That's modern, contemporary Christian big band music. Well, let me put it another way. There's about 150 charts in the book and maybe five to ten have the Gs. So the ratio is low, as you suggest, BUT they're there.

    I can imagine that older, less contemporary books would have much fewer Gs. I played lead in a big band in Midland, TX and there wasn't a single G; however, that's probably because the music was selected with my limitations (at the time) in mind.

    Dave
    Schilke '60 B1
    Selmer Paris -- '57 #20 K-Modified/
    '03 Concept TT w/ GR66.8B2.8
    '94 Lawler TL cornet w/ Sparx 2B
    Conn Vintage One flugel - GR66FD
    www.pitpops.com www.ucm-inc.com
    Rocky Mountain Trumpet Fest

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    How High Is High Enough?

    Dave,
    I agree with your last post 100%! I was basing my previous comments on the "typical" BB gig that you, I, or most of the rest of the players here would get called to do. I fully understand the R&B thing. At one time I worked with a 9-piece Funk/B&B band that did all TP, EW&F, etc. stuff. That particular band started EVERY gig and ENDED every gig by playing an exact copy of Maynard's "Rocky". Try that sometime especially at the end of 5 hours! I also agree that there are books out there that are more strenuous than others. I had my own BB for 7-8 years and we did all of the best charts from Maynard, Kenton, Herman, Rich, Thad Jones, etc. I would DEFINITELY categorize that book as an "A" book, but, again it was more the exception than the rule. I also agree with your "F/G" theory. To have a useable "F" you need to practice higher. At least I think that's what you meant. Around the time of my own BB I was very good friends with Jerry Callet. I gave hime a tape of this band from a recent 2 hour concert we had done. He went home and 3-4 days later called me up to tell me that he sat down and counted the number of double "G's" that I had played that night and the total was well over 150. Not for nothing but I wouldn't have lasted that book had I not practiced notes above the "G's". But I didn't get the impression from freshbrewed's post that he was looking to go play the lead book for the NTS 1:00 lab band! So,again, I based my comments on what info I thought he might be looking for. I could be totally wrong and if I am I apologize for simplifying the "art of playing lead trumpet"! BTW...I enjoy your reviews of the various brands of horns...keep them coming! Your reviews are all very intelligent and informative!

    Butch
    Kanstul Mariachi Premier
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  10. #10
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    I think we're in general agreement Butch. Lead books can vary all over the board.

    As for FreshBrewed, I'm not certain of his status, but I presumed he's a budding pro (armed services style) since he plays an Eclipse and he's writing from Bamburg. That could be wrong. Anyway, he seems to be building his chops pretty good.

    Thanks for reading the reviews. Hopefully I'll be back in business soon with a few more interesting horns.

    Ciao,

    Dave
    Schilke '60 B1
    Selmer Paris -- '57 #20 K-Modified/
    '03 Concept TT w/ GR66.8B2.8
    '94 Lawler TL cornet w/ Sparx 2B
    Conn Vintage One flugel - GR66FD
    www.pitpops.com www.ucm-inc.com
    Rocky Mountain Trumpet Fest

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